2 Timothy 4:1-8 - Speak the Truth

We are happy to have the Chi Alpha crew with us.
We welcome our FB and YT watchers.

[Slide 2]
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who will judge the living and the dead,
and in view of his appearing and his kingdom,
I give you this charge:
[Slide 3]
2 Preach the word. Be prepared in season and out of season.
Correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience
and careful instruction.


Paul has spent the majority of this second letter to Timothy urging him to do his job as the bishop of Ephesus.

False teachers seem to be moving around freely from one house church to the next....

Teaching things that are not in line with the gospel,
but also using the younger widows: living off them without working and it seems they are using them for sensual pleasure as well.

This text has a really interesting aspect.
Notice how this passage opens:

[Slide 4]
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who will judge the living and the dead,
and in view of His appearing and His kingdom...


This is all about the second coming of Jesus...and judgement.
Paul is challenging Timothy...and it appears that he is reminding Timothy that he will stand before God one day and answer for his actions...or non-actions.

And what makes this more interesting is that in v8 he brings the same motif up again,

8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.

This is the strongest kind of challenge Paul can give to Timothy.

I have said this several times...
Timothy is being treated like a soldier...
And Paul is like his Colonel,
but Jesus is the ultimate commanding officer.

Paul is reminding Timothy...
that he will have to stand accountable to Jesus.
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For those who missed the teaching on 2 Tim chapter 2,
Paul gave Timothy his pattern for reaching the world...
"Take the things you have heard me say...
and entrust them to reliable men [and women]
who will turn around and teach the same thing to others."

This is ALL oral transmission.
This is easy for us to miss because we are such a literate culture.

But in the first century only 5% of the population could read and write.

Paul writes to Timothy...
[interesting that we get this call to the "spoken" truth in the form of a written letter]
and urges him to teach others through the spoken word.

Now Paul writes the same thing about the false teachers and their teachings:


[Slide 5]
3 For the time will come when people will not be willing
to listen to sound doctrine.
Instead, to suit their own desires,
they will gather around them a great number of teachers
to say what their itching ears want to hear.
[Slide 6]
4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn
aside to myths.

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PRAYER
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This has an incredibly important meaning for us right now.
Our culture is moving faster away from the concepts that have made it great...

- religious freedom is under attack
- free speech is under attack
this makes it more difficult to openly speak the truth

- marriage is now seen as optional
we are being bombarded with messages against marriage and against the two parent family unit

- the importance and role of fathers in the lives of children is under attack
- the definitions of sexuality and gender have been changed
and if you disagree...your right of free speech is threatened

You will be banned from modern media for "hate speech"
You could be cancelled...fired from your job...doxed
your family threatened

All of this...in various ways...puts Christian values at risk
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Aspects of the Christian moral and ethical position are under attack in ways we ONLY talked about when I first became a Christian in 1976.

We all thought the gospel would be attacked by the Russians and communism - this was during the Cold War...

We did not think the attacks against the gospel would come from our own culture...or from our own government.

This why this verse at the beginning of chapter 4 is SO important:
Preach the Word - "Speak the Truth."

We must be willing to speak the truth to our generation.
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[Slide 7]
5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

Endure hardship.
Think about the things that would get you banned...or doxed.
SOME of those things, typically called "hate speech" right now....
Are very likely part of the truth.

Now, we have to remember that this letter is being sent to the bishop of Ephesus...

not to the general Christians in Ephesus.

But we all say we follow Jesus.

We all need to do what we can to be a witness to His love, grace... and His challenge.

[13 min]
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Will the gospel survive if the United States ceases to be a "Christian" nation? Sure it will.

Is our faith directly tied to the United States? No, not really.

But IF our culture is moving away from the Judeo-Christian principles that God ordains...we need to be careful.

And we need to speak the truth to our culture.

But HOW we speak the truth makes a HUGE difference.

[Slide 8]
Pew Research on Christianity in the USA:
[Slide 9]
65% of adults claim to be "Christian"
- around 136 million adults

ALL of these are not truly "Christian"
BUT this survey...this number of 65% is down 12 percentage pts from only a decade ago.

17% of adults describe their religious belief
as "nothing really specific" - so I would say there are around 110 million Christian adults in the USA - that is still a lot.

Now for the challenge to the XA crew...millennials.

I have probably irritated some millennials lately...so just try to hear me without judging.

I have two millennial daughters.
I am not an expert...but neither am I ignorant.
[20 min]

Let's get deeper into these numbers:
[Slide 10]
Those who claim to be "Christian"

Age 75+ - 84%
55-75 - 76%
Gen X - 67%
Millen - 49%

40% of millennials say they have NO religious affiliation.
These numbers express the RESULTS of HOW our culture is moving away from Christian faith.

22% Never attend any religious service.

THIS is why Chi Alpha is SO important.
I will tell you as one who has been closely involved with the university for 35 years - have seen the deleterious effect of the university on young people.

The university is NOT typically the place where you hear the Truth.

4 yrs - undergrad student
14 yrs - Chi Alpha pastor
3.5 yrs - as a graduate student
8 yrs - as a parent of university students
6 yrs - as a professor
==========================
35 yrs

The univ was not a great place when I was an undergrad...
It is FAR worse now.

I heard a man recently who has extensive experience in education:
he has a PhD from the U of Texas in Political Philosophy and a law degree from Harvard.

He has served at a couple universities: a professor, a dean...
and finally as the Sec.of Education for the United States.

He said that during the time I was an undergraduate the ratio of liberal to conservative professors in the universities was 3:2 - two conservatives for every 3 liberals.

He said that hardly anyone noticed at the time.

By the time Pres Clinton finished his second term in 2000 the ratio had more than quadrupled, and was 16 liberal professors for every conservative.

By the end of Pres Obama's second term in 2016 the ratio had more than doubled again, and now we have 40 liberal professors for every conservative.

I can attest to the basic theory here. Things are much worse on the univ campus.

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BUT...

God has called you guys in XA to be His voice in this generation at the university.

YOU have the opportunity that many of us cannot have with your generation.

And I charge you this morning:
"Preach the gospel."
But I am going to say it differently.

Speak the Truth
You must do it with love and grace...
But you MUST speak the truth.

You cannot speak the truth without confronting the culture.
But You must do it with love and grace...

And this charge is for ALL of us.
If you speak the truth without His love and grace...you are not representing Him properly.

But we must speak the truth when we have the chance.
We just need to do it with His love and grace.

Let's Pray.

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Troy Community Church
Christian Fellowship
1300 Henderson Highway
Troy, AL 36079